Bible Provides Groundwork Of Freedom


To the A.C.L.U.
A point of law:
Where did the phrase "separation of church and state" come from? The First Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits the Congress from making any law "respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the exercise thereof." Often, these clauses come into conflict and are misinterpreted.

The phrase "separation of church and state" first appeared in a letter from Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association. Jefferson stated, "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions -- I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof'." Thus building a wall of separation between church and state.

In recent years, courts have adapted a policy of benevolent "neutrality" toward religion instead of complete separation. Thus, classification based on religion can neither provide a benefit nor impose a burden. Religious people or groups may not be denied a government benefit or protection which is offered to the general public.

You would think that a group of lawyers would be intelligent enough to know what the Constitution actually says about church and state without twisting it to satisfy their own interpretation. A proclamation is not a law and Gov. Hull is not Congress.

Horace Greeley said, and I quote, "Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith. It is impossible to enslave, mentally or socially, a Bible-reading people. The principles of the Bible are the groundwork of human freedom."

George Henry

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